By Steven Beacom
January 29 2019
Linfield manager David Healy admitted he was gutted to lose goalkeeper Roy Carroll to a serious injury for the rest of the season which could potentially end his career after watching the Blues defeat Glentoran 4-2 at Windsor Park.
Healy was thrilled by the “class and character” of his side in a thrilling victory which took them six points clear of second-placed Ballymena United in the title race but his thoughts were also with the unfortunate Carroll.
The Blues triumphed through a penalty from Jordan Stewart, a Calum Birney own goal and late strikes from Chris Casement and substitute Michael O’Connor in a cracking derby. Curtis Allen and Robbie McDaid had drawn the Glens level at 2-2 before Healy’s side, facing 10 men in the closing stages following Joe Crowe’s red card, ultimately claimed their ninth successive win.
Even in victory Healy was thinking about his one time Northern Ireland team-mate Carroll, who it was revealed prior to kick-off had suffered a cruciate knee injury in the recent league success at Crusaders which will rule him out for the remainder of the campaign.
At 41, football fans across the country will be wondering if the international great and ex-Manchester United, Rangers and West Ham star, who has been sensational for Linfield since signing in 2016, may have played his final game.
Healy revealed he intends to speak to Carroll about what the future holds.
“I’m gutted for Roy. He is getting his head round it at this stage of his life and career. As a club we will make sure we do the best by him and as his manager I will do the same,” said Healy.
Healy continued: “I’m not going to say what’s next for Roy. He’s his own man and is mentally tough.
“It’s a difficult injury at his age and I’ll sit down with him and discuss the future.
“I was immensely shocked when I heard the news. Roy has been hugely influential in the seasons he’s been here. He has been hugely important to us this season and in his first season with us when we won three trophies.
“Last season we missed him when he was out for a number of weeks. We are all so sorry for Roy. I know how popular he is with our supporters, who I know will be greatly saddened by this news.”
Healy plans to sign a new goalkeeper to give current No.1 Gareth Deane competition and made a point of slamming critics of larger than life character Carroll.
“I know some people on social media have had a pop at Roy at some of his antics recently and in other times but he has been a massive player for this football club and has probably been the best goalkeeper I have seen in this league,” said Healy.
“Some of these nerds and nitwits on social media I don’t care what they say about me but when I hear people hammering a good solid professional like Roy Carroll, considering the damage done to his knee, his career and his life, sometimes it makes your blood boil.”
Northern Ireland’s record goalscorer was in a happier mood discussing a vital victory for his team, which takes them six points clear at the top of the Danske Bank Premiership, albeit having played an additional game to closest challengers Ballymena United.
“I thought we played some class football in the first half,” said Healy.
“It was brilliant to watch and then Glentoran came back into it and made it 2-2.
“Then we showed great character to go on and win which really pleased me.”
Glentoran counterpart Gary Smyth felt the ball had gone out of play in the lead up to Linfield’s third goal but was pleased with his own side’s commitment to the cause.
“We gave it a real go in the second half and when we levelled it up they were shaking,” said Smyth.
“At half-time we could have thrown the towel in and lost by four or five but the boys dug in and made a game of it which shows what we are capable of going forward.”
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Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/irish-league/linfield/roy-carroll-to-discuss-future-with-gutted-linfield-boss-healy-after-seasonending-injury-37759666.html